Brewing with Raw Honey

Honey has been used in for centuries, adding a unique flavor and aroma to beers and wines. Whether you're a homebrewer or a commercial brewer, using honey in your brewing process can elevate your beverages to new heights. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using raw unfiltered honey in brewing and provide some tips on how to incorporate it into your recipes.

When it comes to choosing honey for brewing, it's important to opt for raw unfiltered honey. This type of honey retains all its natural vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antiseptic compounds, which can enhance the overall quality of your brew. On the other hand, filtered and highly pasteurized honey loses many of these beneficial components, along with its flavor and aroma.

One of the advantages of using honey in brewing is its ability to increase the content of your final product. Honey is highly fermentable, with a fermentation rate of around 95%. When added to the boil, honey provides additional sugars for the to convert into alcohol, resulting in a higher ABV (alcohol by volume) or .

In addition to boosting alcohol content, honey can also impart a subtle honey flavor to your brew. If you're aiming for a delicate honey taste, it's best to add honey between 10 to 30 minutes before the end of the boil. This allows the flavors to infuse into the liquid without being completely lost during fermentation.

Another way to use honey in brewing is as a replacement for extract, which can lighten the body of your beer. Honey is known for its high fermentability, meaning that most of its sweetness will be consumed by the yeast during fermentation. By substituting honey for malt extract, you can create a lighter and more refreshing beer.

When it comes to wine making, honey can be used to replace sugar in the recipe. As a general rule, you can replace 1 pound of sugar with 1.2 to 1.3 pounds of honey. This substitution not only adds a touch of sweetness to your wine but also infuses it with the distinct flavors and aromas of honey.

To incorporate honey into your brewing process, simply add it to the boil or fermentation stage according to your recipe's instructions. Remember to use raw unfiltered honey for the best results. Experiment with different types of honey, such as clover, wildflower, or orange blossom, to discover the unique flavors they can bring to your brews.

Honey is a versatile ingredient that can enhance the flavor, aroma, and alcohol content of your beers and wines. By using raw unfiltered honey in your brewing process, you can enjoy the full range of benefits that honey has to offer. So, next time you're brewing a batch, consider adding some honey and elevate your beverages to a whole new level. Cheers!

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What Kind Of Honey Is Best For Brewing?

When it comes to brewing, the best kind of honey to use is raw unfiltered honey. This type of honey is natural and minimally processed, which means it retains all the vitamins, trace minerals, nutrients, and antiseptic compounds that are beneficial for brewing.

Filtered and highly pasteurized honey, on the other hand, can still be used for brewing but it has undergone extensive processing which strips it of many of its beneficial properties. These processed honeys have been heated to high temperatures and filtered multiple times, resulting in a product that lacks the flavor, aroma, and health benefits of raw honey.

To summarize, raw unfiltered honey is the ideal choice for brewing because it contains all the natural goodness that enhances the brewing process and adds depth of flavor to your final product. If you're looking to get the most out of your brewing experience, opt for honey that is minimally processed and still retains its natural qualities.

Can Honey Be Used For Brewing?

Honey can be used for brewing beer. It can be added at various stages of the brewing process to achieve different effects. Here are some ways honey can be used in brewing:

1. Boil Addition: Adding honey to the boil can increase the alcohol content of the final beer. This is because honey contains fermentable sugars that yeast can convert into alcohol during fermentation. The amount of honey added will determine the impact on alcohol content.

2. Flavor Enhancement: Honey can also add a distinct honey flavor to the beer. The flavor profile will depend on the type of honey used, as different varieties have different flavors and aromas. For example, clover honey may impart a floral note, while wildflower honey may add a more complex flavor.

3. Lightening the Body: Honey can be used to lighten the body of a beer, especially if used as a replacement for malt extract. This can result in a beer with a smoother and lighter mouthfeel.

4. Priming Sugar: Honey can be used as an alternative to priming sugar for carbonation. When bottling beer, a small amount of honey can be added to each bottle to provide the necessary sugars for carbonation during a secondary fermentation.

5. Specialty Beers: Honey can be a key ingredient in specialty beers such as braggots, which are a combination of beer and . These beers typically have a higher honey content and can showcase the unique flavors and characteristics of different types of honey.

It is important to note that when using honey in brewing, it is recommended to choose high-quality, pure honey without additives or preservatives. Additionally, the amount of honey added should be carefully measured to achieve the desired results without overpowering other flavors in the beer.

Honey can be a versatile and flavorful ingredient in brewing, offering a range of possibilities for enhancing the aroma, flavor, and alcohol content of beer.

Can You Use Honey Instead Of Sugar For Fermentation?

Honey can be used as a substitute for sugar in the fermentation process of winemaking. When using honey, it can be used in place of or instead of the sugar called for in the wine recipe. The general guideline is to replace 1 pound of sugar with 1.2 to 1.3 pounds of honey.

Here are a few key points to consider when using honey instead of sugar for fermentation:

1. Quantity: To replace sugar with honey, use a slightly larger amount of honey compared to the sugar called for in the recipe. This is because honey is denser and contains more natural sugars.

2. Fermentation process: Honey contains more complex sugars compared to regular sugar, which can affect the fermentation process. The yeast may take longer to ferment the honey, and additional nutrients may be required to support the yeast during fermentation.

3. Flavor profile: Honey will impart its own distinct flavor to the wine, so it's important to consider the desired taste when substituting sugar with honey. Different types of honey can offer different flavors, so choose one that complements the wine you are making.

4. Adjustments: Since honey is denser than sugar, it may affect the overall volume of the liquid in the recipe. Adjustments may be needed in terms of or other liquids to maintain the desired consistency.

5. Nutrient requirements: Honey lacks some of the essential nutrients needed for yeast fermentation. Additional nutrients such as yeast energizer or yeast nutrient may be necessary to ensure a healthy fermentation process.

Honey can be used as a substitute for sugar in wine fermentation by using a slightly larger quantity of honey. However, it's important to consider the impact on flavor, fermentation process, and make necessary adjustments to ensure a successful fermentation.


Honey is a versatile and beneficial ingredient for brewing beer and making wine. When choosing honey for brewing, it is best to opt for raw unfiltered honey to retain its natural goodness and flavor. Honey can be added to the boil to increase alcohol content, add a light honey flavor, or lighten the body of the beer. For a subtle honey flavor, it is recommended to add honey between 10 to 30 minutes left in the boil. In wine making, honey can be used as a replacement for sugar in the recipe, with a general guideline of replacing 1 pound of sugar with 1.2 to 1.3 pounds of honey. By using honey in brewing, you not only enhance the taste and aroma of your brew, but also benefit from the vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antiseptic properties that honey naturally possesses. So, go ahead and experiment with honey in your brewing recipes, and enjoy the unique and delightful flavors it brings to your beverages.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.